1 December 2003

Tourists rue 'curse' of Ayers Rock

The managers of Uluru, the monolith that used to be called Ayers Rock, are being inundated with stones and dirt stolen from the site and sent back by tourists who claim they have been plagued by bad luck.

Many of the packages, which are received daily by national parks staff from as far afield as Europe and the United States, are accompanied by contrite notes and apologetic letters. Some pieces weighing up to 20lb have arrived in the post.

Southerly Buster is, as you know, far too politically correct to snaffle chunks of Uluru. I just wonder what happens to people who climb the rock despite Anangu requests to the contrary. A 20-lb chunk of rock is serious cultural vandalism, whether it brings you bad luck or not.

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